What are your Gifts?

I was thinking about gifts while was preparing a salad for a funeral at church. I answered a request for help from Evelyn, a leader from church, via Facebook. The funeral for a well-known and well-liked gentleman is expected to be a large one and Evelyn asked for help on Facebook. I figured I could make bars or a salad.

After some thought, I  remembered that this broccoli salad is always a favorite with my family on holidays. Some people  would know what they would want to make and they would be confident that they would have the ingredients and everyone would love it. It’s their gift.

When you use your gift or your talent, you will be happier overall.

A 30-something college-educated client recently who had worked in restaurants and now hospitality for most of his career came in to recreate his resume. He is good at management, working with customers, fulfilling their needs, and finding new revenue streams for his current position.

His passion though is in urban planning, economics, spreadsheets, and charts. His face totally lit up when I asked him if he liked making charts and spreadsheets. “Sure,” he said, “I have a comprehensive spreadsheet set up for my golf league team to chart our progress. I would do more of that at work but they see it as an extra.”

Where would he love to work?

His dream job would be in an urban planning segment, studying statistics and correlations. It is not only his gift, it is his passion. Some people get stuck in fields that they hate, industries that they hate, or positions that they hate and they stay there for a life time. A little extra thinking about what is their gift might bring them a lifetime of happiness.

As for my client, he’s only changing positions if he finds a way to use his gifts in the right place. If that right position doesn’t become available, he will continue to do an exceptional job in his current role.

What about you?

If you are working, are you in the right role? If you are not working, have you analyzed how you could use your gifts better in another area and are you targeting those positions?


  1. Kimba Green on August 10, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Today in an interview with a recruiter I actually told him about my “gifts”. I used the word! When I asked him if it was ok if I talked about my gifts his face lite up and he said he wished more clients would tell him their gifts so he would not have to guess them! I am learning!

    • Julie Walraven on August 10, 2010 at 2:53 pm

      You ARE! And though this has been a long journey for you, I think that you are realizing that there have been many blessings for you even in this time of job search. You are learning more about the process, you are networking and connecting with resources and using strategies that will make you invaluable to the next employer. You go, Kimba, and always remember how many gifts you have!

  2. Shahrzad Arasteh on August 10, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    Julie, my face just lit up! You know how much I love hearing about and working with people who want to clarify and explore what they’re passionate about (and naturally drawn to)!!

    Hearing about your client, and your thoughts on finding our gifts (paying attention to what they are, nurturing them, and looking for opportunities where they can be used well) made my day! I can just picture you working with him and asking him the questions that helped him home in on what he wants to do and how he wants to use his special talents and interests.

    • Julie Walraven on August 11, 2010 at 5:00 am

      Thanks, Shahrzad! I love working with all of my clients but it is so much fun to see people who are now taking the idea of “career” and “goals” more seriously and examining why they may not be happy in their current “work” or “job.”

      When I started writing resumes, many people were just wanting to move in the same field without examining why they were unhappy with their current employer. In many cases, it wasn’t really the employer and coworkers that created the issues but that they were plugged into work that they hated.

      As the economy improves, I think you will see more of the reflective client, who is now reading much more as the career professionals are so visible and realizing that they can do something about their unhappiness and they might just find something they love to do.

      Thanks as always for stopping by.

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Julie Walraven

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